Taking a break from my busy, busy day at work to compose a blog post. It is 2:16 pm, and I've been going nonstop since 8:00 am. (I have to teach tonight until 9:00 pm.) So, I decided I deserved a little mental health break to compose a post. Next I need to find time to get out to all your blogs and the fun I'm missing there!
Back to my recent quilt retreat. Today, I thought I'd tell you about what I was working on, as well as others.
Let's start with what I was working on. I already showed you this:
But here is what I spent the majority of my time working on...
I did not have a single cut or stitch done on this when I arrived at the retreat, and I totally finished it! Right before leaving on retreat, I had seen Lynn's post about this technique. (In this post, she's further along. And here's her post where she's a little farther along.) Then, Caroll posted about how she was making a table topper using this method. (Check them out. They rock!) And I thought, "That would be a good project to take on retreat!" It is pretty mindless sewing, which I need, because I chatter too much at these things. I bought one BaliPop (a package of batik strips that were 42" long and 2.5" wide; there were 40 strips in the package). I used the technique shown in this video, by Missouri Star Quilt Company (don't you just love them?!):
I love this technique. I also stayed with four strips. I cut them as shown in the video, and I got 100 blocks out of it! They are a little odd sized...something like 5.5" but not exactly. Doesn't matter, they are all the same size! I had them done in about a day's worth of sewing.
I had one square left from each strip set after cutting the above. I took those leftover squares and sewed them together (so the squares were from different strip sets).
This was probably my favorite. But I realized I needed my blocks to be all identical to do this. And I hadn't been careful when I sewed my two sets together to always turn the stripes the same way before sewing around the perimeter. So, all my blocks wouldn't spin nicely like this one did.
Sorry, this photo is a little blurry. I took my old camera to retreat, and this is the problem I had been having with that little camera and caused me to buy the good one! But I didn't feel like lugging the big camera along.
I thought it would be fun to do one of these patterns for the whole quilt but I only had enough blocks to do another 1/2 of a long column. This would have made the design weird. I needed it to be wider than this and wanted to use more of my blocks. So, I abandoned this idea.
I ended up going with this random layout. Then, I went to Lolly's (which I blogged about yesterday) and bought some batiks for the borders. I used four of my remaining blocks for cornerstones for each border. I have one block left that I'll use for a label or something.
One tip for you if you make something like this. Be aware that ALL of the outer edges on these blocks are bias. So, be careful when you are sewing them together. I wasn't as careful as I should have been, and my center is a little wonky. The center measured about 1" less wide in than the top and bottom. Ouch! I squared it up with the borders and am hoping it all quilts down okay.
I made this for our guild's service project this year. We are making quilts for the Sieta Scholars. Seita Scholars are kids who come to Western Michigan University from the foster care community. They are kids who have aged out of foster care and often show up on campus with the clothes on their backs and a couple of bags full of stuff. They are not well equipped with bedding, towels, lamps, alarm clocks, and all the stuff most typical kids get for graduation. They simply don't have that kind of family support. So, we are making quilts for their dorm beds. I am thinking of trying to recruit some quilts from some of you bloggers for this project, if you are interested. I will try to post all the particulars (like size) if you are interested. We are also collecting blocks (and I can give the pattern for those) if you'd just like to donate a block or two. Our guild will sew them into quilts. But anyway, that's where this quilt will be going.
I asked one of the guild members who's a longarmer if she'd be willing to quilt it for me. She said, "Yes, but better yet, why don't you come over to my house and quilt it yourself on my longarm?" Hello! I jumped at that opportunity! Thanks, Cheryl! I can't wait to do that!
So, both of my projects for retreat were made from jelly rolls (the 42" by 2.5" strips of fabrics). I found this was a REALLY good idea for a retreat project. They worked up fast, were fun, and didn't require a lot of concentration. Believe me, concentration was in short supply between the shopping, chattering, eating, looking at everyone else's work, etc. (At least for me!)
And speaking of everyone else's work, here are some completed or in progress quilts that were happening at the retreat:
I just love all the designs by Crabapple Hill Designs. Love. Them. All.
That's a pretty good summary of retreat. I'll do one more post about the road trip we took to a local quilt store one morning. It's a wonder I got any sewing done at all on this retreat! :-)
My cousin is being buried today. I am feeling a little blue. I wanted to be there for my aunt, uncle, and cousins, but I coudn't make another trip for the burial. (He's being buried in another state from where the funeral was.) But I am thinking of them and trying to think of happier days with my cousin.
See you tomorrow!
Until next time,